Friday, 25 March 2016

Good Friday 2016

Good Friday, the day on which Christians commemorate the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross, falls on a different date each year. It is the day on which Jesus Christ, having been betrayed by Judas and sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate, was crucified for the sins of mankind.

From the earliest days of Christianity, no Mass has been celebrated on Good Friday, since the Mass is a celebration both of the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and of His Resurrection. Instead, the Church celebrates a special liturgy in which the account of the Passion according to the Gospel of John is read, a series of intercessory prayers (prayers for special intentions) are offered, and the faithful venerate the Cross by coming forward and kissing it. The Good Friday liturgy concludes with the distribution of Holy Communion. Since there was no Mass, Hosts that were reserved from the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday are distributed instead.

The service on Good Friday is particularly solemn; the organ is not played, and all vestments are red or (in the Traditional Latin Mass) black. Since the date of Good Friday is dependent on the date of Easter, it changes from year to year.

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'We are brothers': Pope Francis washes feet of migrants
Pope Francis performs the foot-washing ritual at the Castelnuovo di Porto refugees center near Rome on March 24, 2016

Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of 12 immigrants during Holy Thursday celebrations, hoping to bring together different religions and cultures in a gesture that comes two days after the Brussels attacks stirred anti-Islam attitudes.

"All of us together: Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, Copts, Evangelicals. But all brothers and children of the same God," the pontiff said at a Mass at a migrant reception center that houses nearly 900 asylum-seekers in Castelnuovo di Porto, north of Rome. "We want to live together in peace."

Francis called the assault on the Belgium capital an "act of war, of destruction ... by people who do not want to live in peace."

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Pope Washes Immigrant Feet

Pope Francis leaves at the end of a Chrism Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Thursday

Pope Francis visited a refugee center Thursday to wash and kiss the feet of Muslim, Orthodox, Hindu and Catholic migrants in a gesture of welcome at a time when anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment has spiked following the Brussels and Paris attacks.

Francis celebrated the traditional Easter Week foot-washing ceremony at a refugee shelter in Castelnuovo di Porto, outside Rome, inaugurating the most solemn period of the Catholic Church's Easter season. The Holy Thursday rite re-enacts the foot-washing ritual Jesus performed on his apostles before being crucified, and is meant as a gesture of service.

Francis was greeted with a banner reading "Welcome" in a variety of languages as he processed down a makeshift aisle to celebrate the outdoor Mass. A fraction of the 892 asylum-seekers currently living at the shelter attended, though others milled around nearby and filmed the event on their smartphones.

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